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Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship Hardcover – August 2, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-Mac is a shiny red apple with small, sticklike arms and legs. After he is caught napping in the rain, a little green worm emerges from his left temple, and the two hit it off immediately. They have great fun together and enjoy a variety of activities-until the other apples call Mac names and say he has worms. When the name-calling continues, Will disappears, leaving only a message scratched in the dirt. Going back to his old life, Mac realizes there's a hole in him that he cannot fill. He searches everywhere for his friend, realizing that "he'd rather be a Bad Apple with Will than a sad apple without him. "A variety of insects witnesses their reunion, as does a kind yellow apple. In a final nocturnal scene, as a smiling Mac floats in the watering hole, Will reads aloud by the light of two fireflies. The cheery, cartoon illustrations are done in oils on canvas. Despite its attractive artwork and clever puns, it is more than a tad unsettling to see the worm eating through the apple's skin. Unusual friendships between a worm and another creature are better depicted in Doreen Cronin's Diary of a Worm (HarperCollins, 2003). Youngsters may fondly recall Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar, eating through one red apple, but the idea of a friend eating a hole in another friend's head is disturbing. Wormy apples really do rot.-Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TNα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This story of two unlikely friends sweeps the reader along in its warm, familiar—but peculiar!—plot before delivering that all-important final lesson. Mac is a red apple and Will is a green worm. Before meeting Will, Mac did a lot of good apple things, like sharing his toys and helping the teacher, Granny Smith, pick up after art class. But Will introduces Mac to a whole new level of fun and excitement: flying kites, playing in the dirt, and, of course, reading (Will is quite the bookworm). Mac’s fellow apples, however, mock Mac for hanging out with a worm. Will nobly tunnels off and, of course, Mac searches for him. “There was a hole in Mac that he couldn’t fill.” (Spoiler: it’s the wormhole in his head.) Hemingway’s oil illustrations are rich with autumn colors, and clever bits of action and humor conjure up a world children will want to return to. Meanwhile, the message about peer pressure comes through subtly but strongly. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Connie Fletcher
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 0560 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (August 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925191X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399251917
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We just got Bad Apple from Amazon today and the unanimous declaration is that it's awesome! This is from my six year old son, to my wife and myself. Great work, good story, and really nice illustrations. I love the play on words with the different varieties of apples (Granny-Smith as real grandma is perfect) including some grumpy crab-apples. The story-line of meeting unlikely friends and defying labels is of course relevant to any age.

The aspect of the "properness" of an apple befriending a worm might best be compared to having a little rat being a genius French chef like in Pixar's film "Ratatouille". It's absurd of course, but it's also the whole point: beauty, love and inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places. we have only to be open to it. In any case, the reader or reviewer who over-thinks the scenario and posits that there really IS something wrong with an apple befriending a little worm obviously stopped believing in the magic of childhood a long time ago.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I simply cannot say enough good things about Bad Apple, A Tale of Friendship, written by the oh-so-talented Edward Hemingway. Hemingway is a rare children's book author, in that his wit and talent really take his work to levels not seen in children's books for many years.

The story is a wonderful lesson for young readers and sets a good tone for a beginning talk about tolerance, bullying, and accepting our friends for who they are.

Mac (the apple--such a clever name!) and Will are delightful characters that really come to life. You care about these characters and while I was reading, I could imagine this story and the characters on film.

Finally, I have to say something about the breathtaking artwork of this book. These are not quick drawings--the artwork is done in oils and the richness and depth come shining through. When I opened the book, I literally went, "Ahhhhhhh!" I have absolutely NEVER seen such amazing artwork in a children's book--and there are such wonderful little surprises in the art. Hemingway is not only a fantastic illustrator, his clever wit adds even more dimension.

I teach early childhood development and this book hits all the marks for great children's literature. In fact, I loved this book so much that I have already ordered copies of this book for this year's new literature in my university's child development labs. I know children--and they are going to love this book!

Edward Hemingway is a talent we should all keep our eye on. It's fabulous (and rare) when you see this kind of amazing talent bloom. It's a completely joy from cover to cover.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow.

How many children's books deal with the complex issue of being bullied for who you like? I can't think of any and yet this is one of the most common weapons that bullies use. Bravo for handling the issue with kind spirit and humor.

While bullying is part of the book, Bad Apple is really about friendship and what it's worth to us. In a word, everything. My son read it and seems to really understand now that he's allowed to like anyone he wants to like as long as they treat him with respect. His cousin also read the book to himself one morning while visiting. He closed the book and whispered to himself "I love this book". He didn't know I heard him.

A beautiful concept, beautifully done.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We just recently received our copy of Bad Apple from Amazon. All four of us read it together: from ages 78 down to 9 years old. It conveyed just exactly the message we enjoyed. The little worm wiggling his way into the heart of a juicy red apple. such a good moral and sweet story of friendship, despite the agenda of other onlookers. Sometimes the most unlikely sources provide the most delightful outcomes in our lives. Everyone of us enjoyed the clarity of illustration and the well-worded story. It made a lovely and lively discussion as our grandchildren snuggled into bed. Thank you, Edward Hemingway, for a beautiful book that we will treasure in our home.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a delightful book! Edward Hemingway attacks the pack mentality that so governs our society as a whole today. Bad Apple celebrates individuality and the glory of choice that our prepackaged culture denies people. I bought this book for every member of our family including my twenty-something nephews. He touches our obsession with appearances and group approval being pounded into the fabric of our culture by the rash of shallow reality shows on television. Bad Apple is a throw back to the golden rules of yesteryear: be kind, stay true to yourself and loyalty make the person, or in this case, the apple!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a friend's 3-year-old child and my daughter (7) enjoyed it so much we had to buy another copy for our home. There are so many reasons this is a great book: the beautiful and vivd color illustrations, the soulful tale of friendship, the sweet and unforgettable characters. At an age when what friends have and do and wear seems so important, my daughter really seemed to appreciate the message that friendship transcends difference and even benefits from it: she got it! Thanks Bad Apple!!!!!!! I plan to buy this book for my young and not-so-young friends. It's a keeper.
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